In ‘Nei Jing’ (Inner Cannon), considered as the chinese medicine bible, here is the first question Huang Di, Yellow Emperor (ca. 2,600 BC) asked the imperial physician, Qi Bo.
Huang Di asked, “I heard that in ancient times people lived over a hundred years, and yet they remained active without showing the usual signs of aging. In our time, people age prematurely. Is this due to a change in the environment, or is it because people have lost the correct way of life?”
Qi Bo replied, “In the past, people practiced the Tao, the Way of Life. They understood the principle of balance, of yin and yang. They formulated practices in exercises combining stretching, massaging and breathing to promote energy flow, and meditation to help maintain and harmonize themselves with the universe. There was temperance in eating and drinking. Their hours of rising and retiring were regular, avoided overstressing their bodies and minds, and refrained from overindulgence of all kinds. They maintained well-being of body and mind.
“These days, people have changed their way of life. They drink wine as though is were water, indulge excessively in destructive activities, drain their jing (essence), and deplete their qi. They do not know the secret of conserving their energy and vitality. Seeking emotional excitement and momentary pleasures, people disregard the natural rhythm and order of the universe. They fail to regulate their lifestyle and diet, and sleep improperly.
“…When internal energies are able to circulate smoothly and freely, and the energy of the mind is not scattered, but is focused and concentrated,, illnesses and disease can be avoided.”